The brain is the most important organ in the body. They keep the heartbeat, breathing and functioning of all systems in the body. Therefore, it is essential that you keep your brain in optimal condition even with a healthy diet. Some foods have negative effects on the brain, affect memory and mood, and increase the risk of dementia.
Some estimates predict that by 2030, dementia will affect more than 65 million people worldwide. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of this disease by excluding certain foods from your diet.
What is not good
Let’s say you loaded strawberries on a plate, gnawed nuts and ate salmon – all of these are good moves if your goal is better brain health. What about foods that can increase the risk of mood or memory problems, especially as we age?
It’s good to know what are the potentially problematic foods that should appear less on your plate – if they don’t completely disappear from it.
This food, like many packaged snacks, is high in trans fats. You may already know that trans fats are not good for your heart and blood vessels. Research has shown that they can also cause devastation in brain function. A study in the journal Neurology found that older adults who had the highest levels of elaidic acid (a common type of trans fat) in their blood were more likely to develop dementia.
Although a single glass of wine or beer is unlikely to disturb your mind, alcohol directly affects the brain’s communication pathways. The more you drink, the harder it is to process new information or remember things. Alcohol can also make you feel confused or depressed.
Soda and other sweet drinks
If you want to keep your brain in good shape as you age, avoid very sugary drinks. Research has shown that people who drink a lot of soda, sweet tea and other sugary drinks are much more likely to have memory problems. Drinks that have a type of sugar called fructose can even cause some parts of the brain to shrink.
Diet soda and beverages with artificial sweeteners
If regular soft drinks are bad for you, then sugar-free ones are good, right? No, it won’t go that fast: research shows that people who drink at least one diet soda a day are almost three times more likely to experience a stroke or develop dementia. Scientists believe that artificial sweeteners can be a harmful ingredient.
French fries and other fried foods
People who eat a lot of fried, processed foods are usually worse on tests that measure their mental abilities. Probable reason: fried and fatty foods. The pleasures associated with it cause inflammation, can damage the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood, and can also damage the brain itself.
These delicious goodies are fried and full of sugar, which is a bad combination when it comes to brain health. Due to deep frying and excess sugar, you get double inflammation. Studies have shown a link between high blood sugar and dementia. Even worse: most donuts contain trans fats, so another ingredient that the brain doesn’t really need.
White bread and white rice
Refined carbohydrates, even those that don’t have a very sweet taste, can raise blood sugar. This is often followed by the fact that you may feel foggy when it comes to mentality. Research shows that too many refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in people who are genetically predisposed to it. When eating carbs, choose wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
It contains a lot of saturated fats that are harmful to the heart and brain. In fact, restricting red meat is a key principle of the MIND diet, a research nutrition program that aims to preserve memory and quality thinking. Want a source of protein that is better for your brain? Fish, lean poultry and beans are healthier options.
Butter and full-fat cheese
The appealing creamy taste comes at a price. These dairy products are full of saturated fats. Adherents of the MIND diet avoid butter, cheese and other whole milk products. When it comes to brain health, low-fat dairy products are generally a healthier choice. Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and other dairy foods can also be obtained in a low-fat form.
Swordfish and ahi tuna
Most health professionals are big fish lovers, but the species they love are salmon and others that contain a healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acids. Swordfish, ahi tuna (tuna with yellow fin) and other large fish lose points here because they usually have a lot of mercury. It is a neurotoxin – meaning toxic to the brain – that can lead to an increased risk of memory loss and impaired mental ability in older adults.
Bottled toppings, marinades and syrups
Read the ingredients on the label carefully. Many of these products have surprisingly large amounts of high fructose corn syrup. This, however, is the same thing that is in the barrel. It is associated with a variety of health problems, including memory loss and decreased brain capacity. Instead, try mixing salad dressings yourself.